Title

The Psychological Cost of College Math: Digital Learning Behaviors, Outcomes, and Genders Differences

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

6-7-2018

Publication Title

HCI International 2018 – Posters' Extended Abstracts

Publisher

Human-Computer Interaction

Publisher Location

Las Vegas, NV

Volume

852

First page number:

43

Last page number:

50

Abstract

Students’ perception of the costs of engaging in learning has only recently been the focus of empirical study. Perceived costs include effort cost, opportunity cost, and psychological cost. This study focuses on the implications of psychological cost – the perceived negative psychological consequence of participating in a learning task –for learning behavior, performance, and the potentially greater prevalence of cost for women learning math. Research questions include: (1) Does perceived psychological cost of engaging in a calculus course predict undergraduates’ behavior in the learning management system (LMS)? (2) Does psychological cost of engaging in a calculus course predict students’ academic performance? (3) Which digital learning behaviors predict final exam score? (4) Do females perceive greater psychological cost than males? (5) Are there differences in course achievement by gender? And (6) Do male and females’ digital learning behaviors differ? Contrasting theory and prior findings, psychological cost did not predict learning behavior or course performance. Students’ use of policy documents and a tool to organize study sessions predicted final exam performance. Females perceived greater psychological costs than males when studying calculus, consistent with prior research. Female students also scored lower than males on the final exam. Results suggest that costs may differ by gender and may mediate gender differences in performance.

Keywords

Expectancy-value theory (EVT); Psychological cost; Learning management system (LMS); Math learning

Disciplines

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Higher Education

Language

English

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